The Inquirer (Monrovia)

30 April 2014

Liberia: Gov't Committed to Promoting Occupational Health

Labour Minister Cllr. F. Juah Lawson says the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour is committed to promoting occupational health and safety through rigorous labour inspection at places of work as a means of enhancing decent work for all Liberians.

Minister Lawson said as the Ministry increases the capacity of its inspectors and as the Decent Work Bill is fully enacted into law, the ministry hopes to prevent injuries at the workplace and deter the maintenance of poor working environments through legal instruments where applicable.

The Labour Minister made these assertions on Monday, April 28, 2014 when she deputized for Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai at program marking the celebrations of World Day for Safety and Health at Work in Monrovia.

She said the health of a nation's workforce is central factor in that nation's overall prosperity, stability and security; it determines every aspect of the status of the nation ranging from its national productivity to the long-term stability of its citizens and Liberia is no exception to this.

Minister Lawson defined occupational safety and health as a science of the prevention, recognition, evaluation and control of hazards arising in or from the workplace that could impact the health and well-being of workers and with possible impact on their families surrounding communities and the general environment.

"As our country gradually meanders towards industrialization through the expansion of private sector investment, let us all work towards predicting, preventing and eliminating all forms of injuries at the workplace. As we enhance social dialogue between workers and employers, let the tents of occupational health and safety take front stage in upholding the decent work philosophy. As we raise awareness in the ambiance of today's celebration, let us all see the workers of Liberia as co-partners in the noble effort national transformation and provide them the needed safety and protective gears to keep them healthy and safety" she added.

For his part, the Director of the National Fire Service Mr. G. Warsuwah Barvoul, Sr. stressed the need for health and safety plan be spell out in all concession agreements signed between the Government of Liberia and investors so as to protect Liberians from work related accidents.

He is at the same time calling on employers to ensure that health and safety procedures be displace in all sections or departments at the workplaces to guard workers on the usage of the gears provided them and risk themselves to injuries.

The celebration was organized by the West Africa Institute of Occupational Health and Safety with theme "Safety and Health in the Use of Chemicals at work".

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